Titanic Cast List & Week 1 rehearsals

Hi everyone

Welcome to week 1 of rehearsals for “Titanic The Musical,” and thanks to all who came along to the launch/audition evening last Friday and for your patience during “read throughs.” This especially applies to the ladies, who were not utilized as much as I had planned, due to time running out. However, I hope that you all enjoyed the evening and well done for great readings and characterizations.

The exciting yet mammoth task of casting has now been done, and many things have been taken into consideration, not least the wonderful talents that you all have and obviously, your vocal ranges.  Other considerations include past roles/opportunities, rehearsal availability and the how to double-up characters without them clashing in the same scenes. Sorry that couldn’t get this to you earlier in the week but we have been updating the group email address list, ready for use.

So….here is the cast list that I know you all want to get to.

It is in the order of characters taken from the script books which is grouped into Officers/Crew, 1st, 2nd & 3rd Class Passengers, On Shore & Other Crew Members/Staff which is not necessarily in order of importance. I have indicated what nationality the character is, if other than British.


Thomas Andrews    –   The Designer & Builder        Seb   (doubles as Hartley, Bandmaster)
J.Bruce Ismay           –   The Owner  Nick Herriott  (doubles as John B. Thayer, & 1st man)
Capt. E. J. Smith    –   Captain                                  Gary
Murdoch                   –   First Officer (Scottish)        John Corin  (doubles as 2nd class pass)
Lightoller                 –   Second Officer                      Nick Poyner (doubles as 2nd class pass)
Pitman                       –   Third Officer                        Bob  (doubles as the Major, & 4th man)
Boxall                         –   Fourth Officer                 Katy Gerard (doubles as Taylor & Rogers)
No Hitchens                 –                                                         ————-
Harold Bride            –   Wireless Operator         Paul B.
Frederick Barrett   –   Stoker (Yorkshire)        James  (doubles as Fleet-Lookout)
Frederick Fleet        –   Lookout                          James (doubles at Barrett & poss 1st/2nd)
Joseph Bell                 –  Chief Engineer Stephen (doubles as Carlson, Widener & 2nd man)
Henry Etches             –  Senior First Class Steward     Bert     (doubles 3rd class Steward)
Bellboy                        –   Natalie              (doubles as 3rd class passenger)

FIRST CLASS PASSENGERS (all double as 3rd Class passengers)

Isidor Straus             –  (Jewish)                              Hyder             (doubles as German man)
Ida Straus                  –  Isidor’s wife (Jewish)        Ann
John J. Astor             –                                               George
Madeleine Astor       –   J.J.’s young bride             Hannah Trott
Benjamin Guggenheim     (American)               Matt (doubles as Jim Farrell & 3rd man)
Madame Aubert         –   Benjamin’s mistress (French)    Rachel Jaap
John B. Thayer            –   Nick Herriott (doubles as Ismay the owner & 3rd class 1st man)
Marion Thayer            –   John’s wife                       Paula Gerard
Jack Thayer                 –   John & Marion’s son        Katy De Lucia
George Widener         –   Stephen         (doubles as Bell, Carlson & 3rd class 2nd man)
Eleanor Widener        –   Becky Knight (doubles as Darlene, & Stewardess Robinson)
Charlotte Cardoza     –   (Italian)                              Ruth
Edith Corse Evans      –                                               Hannah Jaap
J. H. Rogers                   – (American)Katy Gerard(doubles as Boxall & Taylor, (bandsman)
The Major                     –                                                Bob  (doubles as Pitman & 4th man)


Alice Beane                 –  (Amercian mid-west)    Paula Steel
Edgar Beane                –  (American mid-west)   Keith     (doubles as 3rd class passenger)
Charles Clark               –      Clare Jaap      (doubles as 1st class & 3rd class dancer)
Caroline Neville          –     Hannah M.     (doubles as 1st class & 3rd class dancer)

THIRD CLASS PASSENGERS (all double as 1st class passengers)

Jim Farrell                   –   Irish       Matt     (doubles as Benjamin Guggenheim & 3rd man)
Kate McGowan            –   Irish        Louisa
Kate Mullins                –    Irish        Laura C.
Kate Murphey            –    Irish         Claire F.
(Laura will play the youngest of the Kates, so here Mullins
and Murphey are in reverse order)


Frank Carlson              -Stephen      (doubles as Bell, George Widener 3rd class 2nd man)


No Andrew Latimer        –                                                              ———
Stewardess Robinson
  Becky Knight (doubles as Eleanor Widener & Darlene)
Stewardess Hutchinson  Becky Hardy    (doubles as Bride’s wife & 3rd class passenger)
No DaMicos                   –                                                             ———
Wallace Hartley      –
Bandmaster Seb (doubles as Thomas Andrews, designer & builder)
Taylor                         –  Bandsman Katy Gerard (doubles as Boxall & J.H. Rogers, 1st class)
No Bricoux                      –                                                            ———–
Nurse to Ida Straus  –       Natasha K.       (doubles as 1st, 2nd & 3rd class)
Maid to Madeleine     –     Rachael Bourne (doubles as 1st, 2nd & 3rd class)

Congratulations to all, I am very excited by this line up and hope that you are too. There maybe extra small parts to take on as we go but you will all be busy don’t worry!
I will be sending more in depth information about your individual characters later, so that you can really get a feel for them.

We will be rehearsing every Thursday and Friday with the exception of next Thursday 19th July.

Thursday 12th July

7.30pm Issue of the scripts/scores and taking of subs, then Hannah P. will crack on with singing 2e – 2j from Act 1 Scene 1. All needed, including pit singers.
Later, we will start staging this section and pit singers may leave if they wish to.

I shall be meeting with our new stage manager Laura Mason (Debbie Gaston’s daughter,) to discuss set ideas.
(Jill & Gordon M. and Julie and Adrian Walker will be joining the team from stage-up day and from thereon in.)

Friday 13th July No Margaret Taylor.

7.30pm We will start with singing 2c- All crew, hotel staff & pit singers are needed with Hannah P. (excluding Stephen)   I will work with Seb on 1a.

8.20pm Leading onto 2d singing (Nick H, Seb & Gary,) when pit singers may leave. I will work with Paula S. Keith, Clare J & Hannah M. on Act 1 Scene 3, (7 & 7a)

8.50-9.05pm Break. After break we will sing 2, (James,) 2a (James & Paul) and 2c (James, Paul, Seb.)

I will work on Act 1 Scene 3, 8a & 8b with Natalie, Bob, Nick H. Gary, Matt, John C. & then 8C with Natalie, Bob, Becky K, George, Paula G, Hannah T. Nick P, Gary and remaining 1st class passengers & staff.

Once you are no longer needed, you may either leave, or watch the rehearsals, (quietly please.)

Louisa, Claire F, Laura & Stephen will not be needed tonight but again, do come along if you want to watch/listen.

Titanic auditions

A great turn out last night and I hope that you got a feel for the show and had fun too. Great “read-throughs” and enthusiasm thanks, and the singing and dancing sounded and looked great too.

Rehearsals will start next Thursday 12th July and continue every Thursday and Friday, with the exception of Thursday 19th July. The mammoth task of casting now starts and a cast list will be produced before next Thursday’s rehearsal.

“Joseph” – Out of the Desert (Part 2)

Camel caravan in a desert

So, there we were: show week.  For 15 weeks it had been sitting on the far horizon just beyond our reach and nicely out of view.  Now that reprieve was over and it was right there in front of us shining with its jazz hands glittering in the spotlight.  Or something like that.  Whether you like the metaphor or not it was right there coming at us like a steam roller.  Ok, enough.

The thing was that those of us on the creative team had seen its shadow looming and heard the roar of the feedback some weeks before.  We had tried so hard to remind everyone that it was coming and would not be stopped.  The notebook had been out in full glory and it had started to look like dividends would be paid.  And then again there just didn’t seem to be that spirit of urgency that us creatives were feeling.  Other people might refer to it instead as clinical stress.  I call it creative fever.  Desperate were we to get the whole production over the line yet happy was everyone else to plod on to the finishing line like Brummy Wildebeest from the days of Just So.  Oh how hard it was to stay calm and enjoy “the process” from T (thereabouts) to Z (err, Zuper?)  Thank goodness for prayer and jelly beans.

Jelly beans (by L Taylor)


So there we were.  Dress rehearsal day.  The set was already built and standing in its theatrical glory.  The pyramids were set onto the blue sky background and cunningly covered up by the black back-cloth (with its tasteful yet accidental tie-dye effect).  The doorway disguised as a Bible was in place and ready to be opened to reveal Joseph in his opening dream sequence.  The giant Pharaoh’s head was painted and waiting in the wings with Joseph’s glorious chariot of gold.  So much promise and potential waiting to be brought to life.  Dress rehearsal day was the day of delivery for two other important pieces of set: the steps and the chaise lounge.

You will remember my excitement and trepidation in forming the Joseph Children’s Choir for the show.  The whole plan had hinged on them being able to sit on raised steps which would sit at stage height and rise above the stage so they could always be seen by the audience (and could also see the on-stage action too).  This had started to look like an impossibility.  We were trying to think of other ways to create height differentials but none of them filled me with excitement or anything other than dread.  Then I remembered a very nice man mentioning that he might be able to ask for a loan of some stage steps from the school where he works (Thank you, Alex!).  The possible problems were too many to consider.  What size would the steps be?  Would they be high enough?  Small enough?  Bright green (always a possibility although admittedly unlikely)?  Yet, on that fair dress rehearsal day (actually I think it was raining but go with it for a moment), he came up trumps and with a little help from the man with the van (thank you, Gary!) the much-longed for steps arrived. 

In the words of someone in the cast of “Cinderella”: “it fits”!  Ok, the grammar is bad and poor but it was amazing to see them in situ.  The steps were exactly as I had visualised and within 2 inches of the space we had on the stage for them.  They were not a funny colour but black, just like the rest of our stage, and they were the perfect height.  Not too high so that anyone on them would suffer from vertigo but not so small that the Choir would never been seen by anyone beyond the front row.  They fitted the space perfectly and allowed us to have them on a slight angle exactly as I had originally planned (and drawn in my notebook).  I have never before thought of steps as an object of beauty but, on that day, I did.  I really did.  I practically hugged them.  The steps, that is. 

Not just did the steps arrive in their glory (and they have been photographed enough that they will never be forgotten) but another critical piece of stage kit also arrived that day.  For weeks we had been asking around for anyone with a chaise lounge to come forward.  Yes, it was a long shot.  A very long shot, but you never know and if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  Nothing had come up.  We were debating how to make a garden chair and a footstool look like a chaise and be sturdy enough to be stood on safely by one Mrs Potiphar during a rather vigorous dance routine as she seduces Joseph.  However, little known to us, a very nice man (thank you, Philip!) was ringing around all the local charity shops and anywhere he could think of to see if anyone had a chaise lounge we could borrow for the week.  He clearly had a wonderfully persuasive manner and, after many calls, won over a local charity who just happened to have a blue chaise in one of their furniture sales shops.  So there it was, a beautiful, traditional, blue chaise lounge.  Ours for the week for the price of a donation and some notifications.  Every night it made a starring appearance in the Potiphar number and, like the steps, has paraded its face in front of our cameras enough that it too will stay in the Barnstormers’ archives long after its return to the shops.

And so it was that the final set was ready.  All that remained was the big workshop day, dress rehearsal, technical set up and rehearsal, extra costume run and then, the big day.  Curtain up.

To be continued….

[Photo of “Camel caravan in a desert” by m_bartosch: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=681 ]

Joseph – the aftermath

“Way, way back 15 weeks ago

Not long after rehearsals began

I looked at the size of the cast for this show

And said to myself: “Is this a good plan?”


Barnstormers doing Joseph again

So much to do and so little time

Barnstormers doing Joseph again

A crazy few months but it all worked out fine!”


I can’t believe that all those 15 weeks of rehearsals, kilos of cakes and too many bananas for anyone to really ever want to think about have all gone so quickly.  It barely seems 5 minutes since I started testing early staging ideas on the set of Snow White (not during the show, Clare, honest).

Cheesy though it is, words are not going to be enough to express just how proud I am of everyone involved in Joseph.  Perhaps my rather emotional episodes at the end of the last two shows say enough.  If not, then the enormous smiles on the faces of everyone in the audience proved to us all that we had given them a show to remember.  You were all stars!  Being part of the audience was a fantastic experience – getting to see first-hand the stunning amount of energy, enthusiasm, talent and fantastic singing that Barnstormers is becoming so famous for.  All those cheers and standing ovations were for real!  You should all be very, very proud of the fantastic show you performed night after night whether you were on stage, in the band, singing in the pit, part of the crew (backstage, sound, lighting, make-up, costumes or anything else I should know better than to forget!)   

It was so amazing to watch you all get better and better every night until it became clear that my infamous notebook was surplus to requirements.  May it rest in peace.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the entire team on stage and off who helped give life to the dreams I had for this show and literally made my dreams (and Joseph’s) come true.  It was better than I could ever have imagined!  From the patience of the backstage and props/scenery crew creating giant Pharaoh heads, bony sheep and golden chariots and the lighting team’s creation of “sad desert” lighting, to the costume team’s creation of Joseph and Pharaoh’s glitzy numbers and smoking lounge attire for “Potiphar” – it just could never have been what it was without you.  Thanks to you all this production of “Joseph” will always have a very special place in my heart.

I know many of you will be waiting expectantly for me to reveal the real casting for Joseph…watch this space and the Barnstormers website…all will be revealed…!

Have a fantastic few weeks catching up on rest and getting make into “normal” life (whatever that it).  Hopefully see some of you on Friday evening (see separate email) and look forward to seeing the rest of you at the introduction night to A Christmas Carol and the AGM.  Until then, I’ll leave you with the challenge of trying to get those colours out of your head…red, yellow….

Thank you again, and God bless.

Louisa x

Joseph – SHOW WEEK!!!

Hi all

Show week is finally here!  It seems only 5 minutes since I put on my iPod and started working out timings for the Joseph’s Dreams moves on the set of Snow White and yet here we are.

We were all extremely impressed with the dress rehearsal (and some of us were rather emotionally moved…..!!) and we’ve received lots of really great comments so well done to you all.  We are on track to putting on a really fantastic show!  Having said that there is still lots of room for improvements (!) so please watch out for notes coming your way and a few extra little rehearsals where we can grab you in groups on Tuesday – just so we can you really confident and excited!

TUESDAY arrive at 6pm – the costume team are working extremely hard over the next couple of days to get everything ready so Tuesday will now be a full costume and make-up run for everyone.  Please arrive as close to 6pm as possible with all your own pieces of costume and shoes so you have time to get your costumes laid out and make-up done ready for our warm-up and the extra bits of rehearsal we need to squeeze in.  I appreciate that this is a change to the original planned arrival time but will give you and the rest of the teams the best opportunity to ensure you have everything and that we resolve those last outstanding issues.  I know those of you who are working this week may struggle so please get there as soon as you can.  We will then aim to run from 7.30pm as if it was a performance with a warm-up about 7pm.

Choir – you will not need to wear or bring your costumes on Tuesday (or have make-up done).  Please arrive at 7.20pm.  Ideally we would like to keep you until we finish the show (hopefully 9.45/10pm) as we need to give you the opportunity to run the Act 2 singing (as this hasn’t had as many rehearsals), the “party scene”, your walk on at the end of the Any Dream Will Do finale (which you completely forgot at the dress rehearsal!) and the whole of the Megamix including your bows and the company bows.  If it is absolutely essential for you to leave earlier please stay until after the Entr’acte (around 9pm if timings run to plan) but would appreciate being able to run the whole show with you there.

On the party scene – please can Phoebe and Charlotte go to the stage left group (with Sheila) for the party dance and the rest of you join Ruth’s group – will be much easier for you to get back on the steps at the end!  Sheila’s group please watch for them and let them into the circle with you before you stop to free-form dance. 

Pit singers – please arrive by 7pm ready for warm-up.  You do not need to wear your outfits.

Blankets – please still have a rummage at home and bring along any extra non-brightly coloured blankets on Tuesday as we still seem to be short.  If you are a Potiphar Guard at the start of Go, Go, Go Joseph (Becky H, Stephen & Hyder) you will not need a blanket so, if you have one, please donate yours to anyone else who is missing one or whose blanket is too bright.

Please email the costume team if you think you are still missing something.  We have made notes on the things you were missing on Saturday so have hopefully picked it up.  Also, please let them know if you are sourcing anything yourself. 

If you are coming down to the hall tonight for the technical run or for costumes please make sure you are in the building by 7.45pm at the latest and ONLY use the fire exit doors from the hall to the car-park and NOT the main doors into the coffee bar as there is another booking for the coffee bar tonight.

Have a great couple of days and see you all rested and refreshed tomorrow for our last run-through before our official OPENING NIGHT!!  Hope you are all as excited as me!

Louisa x

Joseph – Week 15 rehearsal plan (LAST WEEK BEFORE SHOW WEEK!!!)

Hello everyone!

Right, this is it.  Our last week of rehearsals before the show.  That means we are now down to just two rehearsals before the dress rehearsal and only a maximum of four rehearsals left before the show!!  Yikes!!  So please work hard, check all the points below to make sure you don’t miss something and ASK if you are unsure what you are doing!

Everyone is needed at ALL rehearsals from now on.  Don’t forget that it doesn’t just affect you if you don’t turn up but it is extremely off-putting to the other members of the cast so please make every effort to attend.

This week

Again the focus will be on tidying up and running the show through each night.  Please help out with getting chairs out, band set up and getting to the right places quickly (including listening out for the end of the song before you are on and waiting in the wings to come on with any props that you need).  Please bring AND wear the shoes you are planning to use for the show so we can check if there are any problems with them.


Nearly all the props will be available from Thursday evening so if you are meant to bring something on please look carefully for it in advance and bring it on with you.  I will briefly go through the items on the props tables before we start.  In particular, Wives the pots, baskets etc will be available so please collect them before your entrance for Jacob & Sons.  We will try and have some of the material available for those who are “sewing” instead.  If you don’t have a prop because there is nothing left for you please tell me at a suitable break so we can arrange this for Friday’s run.  Blankets will be available for some of you for Go Joseph so please grab one or use your own (see my earlier email) and don’t mime unless we have run out – we particularly need to sort this as we need to practice you throwing them all off!

Scenery/stage – entrances and exits

The stage and set crew have done an excellent job of getting most of the set finished and fixed ready for our rehearsals this week (big thanks once again to the wonderful team J)  Unless you have a specific entrance or exit from the audience (such as the Camel/Ishmaelites or the Guards or Choir and Narrator from the front of stage right) please DO NOT climb on the stage from the audience or use the gap on stage right to get into the wings.  Everyone will need to allow extra time to go through the Church and to cross behind the stage during the numbers so you can enter from stage right and/or stage left.  This is the best way for you to get used to how long it will take on the night – especially given you have to grab props!

Please be careful backstage.  Be helpful and considerate towards one another.  Please let people and props off the stage before you attempt to come on!


Please can everyone in the cast bring everything that you are providing for your costume (including shoes) and make sure you see the costume team before rehearsals on either Thursday or Friday evening.  Caroline will be available upstairs from 6.30pm both days.  Please use the main entrance on Thursday (not the fire exit) as the dance group will be in until 7.30pm and be aware that there is also a meeting for the Church Voyager’s group from 6.45pm so keep the noise down.

In particular, please can the following see Caroline on Thursday before rehearsals to try on all your costumes but specifically the following (please don’t all arrive at 7.15pm – please spread out from 6.30pm):

Seb – Joseph (both Act 1 and Act 2)

Sheila – Brother, Go Jo and Pharoah’s Servant

Paul – Brother, Go Jo & Fat Cow

Ann – Wife, Potiphar Quartet and Pharaoh servant costumes

Rachael B – Wife, Potiphar Servant, Go Joseph, Cheerleader and Corn/star dancer

Bob – Jacob & Potiphar Quartet

Mandy – Narrator and Potiphar Quartet

Ruth – Narrator

Hannah T – Benjamin & Thin cow & Go Jo

Natalie – Benjamin’s Wife & Cheerleader & Go Jo

Bert – Levi & Potiphar servant

John – Potiphar

Clare J – Potiphar’s Wife & Jacob’s Servant

Stephen – Guard (Act 1 and Act 2) & Camel

Becky H – Ishmaelite & Go Joseph

Paula G – Butler & Go Jo costume

Katy G – Wife and cheerleader

Gary – Fat Cow & Brother

James – please can you make sure you visit the costume team on Friday re Pharoah

Everyone else please see the costume team on Friday (unless you can’t get there early in which case please go Thursday or as soon as you arrive on either night)  If you don’t have everything please check with them again what you are meant to be providing.


Does anyone have a collection of gold, blue, silver or white pom-poms or shiny wigs?  The costume team are still hunting down the pom-poms for the cheerleaders.  If you can help please contact Caroline Cadlock.

Pit Singers

Pit Singers please bring your “costume” for the dress rehearsal.  You will need black shoes, black trousers (or long black skirt) and a brightly coloured top, ideally a Barnstormers t-shirt if you have one.  If you have music stand lights you may also find these helpful for the dress rehearsal.  Some lights may be available but torches are not appropriate.

Thursday 19 April

At 7.15pm – All Stars & Corn dancers from Joseph’s Dreams (downstairs in Church to practice with Margaret)

At 7.30pm – Everyone please (including Pit Singers and Joseph Choir) to work through & run the show [Choir – finish time of 9pm]

Friday 20 April

At 7pm, Nick and Rachel to work tango

Our Barnstormers prayer group will be meeting in the room on the left at the top of the stairs from 7.10-7.30pm on Friday.

At 7.30pm – Everyone please (including Pit Singers and Joseph Choir) to work through numbers as needed before running the entire show

Saturday 21 April

Everyone will be needed during the course of the afternoon (1-5pm), including the Choir and Pit Singers.  Exact arrival times will be confirmed over the next couple of days so please listen carefully to announcements and check your emails for confirmation.  Please arrive from 6pm for the dress rehearsal to have time for changing, make-up and photos.  Refer to Bert’s email for further details.

Advance notice – please continue to keep Tuesday 24 April free for a full run-through.  We are expecting to use this as a complete run which will be the only opportunity some of you will have to practice with your costumes.  This will be every bit as important as the dress rehearsal as it will be the first time the full lights and sound will be available so please make sure you are available.

Now is the time to concentrate, make notes if you need to remember something, check with one of us if there is something you are unsure of and get used to using props/scenery etc.  Please keep up the hard work and really focus on these last few rehearsals so we can put on a fantastic show.

“Joseph” – Choral Reflections

Camel caravan in a desert

The calm remains.  It is an odd feeling.  I have now begun to think that something must have gone horribly wrong after all, but then I look back at my notes and the schedule for this week and realise that it is all ticking along quite nicely, thank you very much.  What I needed to have sketched out for this week is already down there on paper (yes, it is even from Act 2) and we are so well on target that I even managed to get some old posts up onto the website.

The most recent fun has been caused by cyberspace flying on Facebook, email and text to work out whether we had enough interest in our little Children’s Choir to make it viable.  Thanks to huge support from some of the Choir-hopefuls, and their willing parents, we just managed to find a small group of very excited and enthusiastic girls (I dare not call them “children”) that will do very nicely as our happy little choir for the show.  It would have been a personal disaster had we not managed to find such a suitable brood. 

You see my vision for the show begged for cheeky, smiling faces to look up at Joseph and the Narrators with wide-eyed innocence sporting the biggest smiles you have ever seen.  Without the Choir half the show would need re-staging to cover the gaps where the Choir would have been.  My detailed planning would have fallen apart and heralded a new season of chaos.  For now at least, all’s well that ends well.  

Friday marks our very first rehearsal with the Choir bringing with it both excitement and trepidation (in case no-one actually turns up – it is half-term after all).  The word sheets are all prepared and only need to be photocopied tonight which should be a straight-forward task so as long as the Producer is not let loose on the task again (if it were it a pantomime I would “boo” him with great conviction…sorry, Mr Producer).  Once this is all done we just have to arrive on time (hoping and praying that the traffic is light and no medical emergencies arrive for our in-house doctor) and then we are off and running.

In the meantime, I’ve been playing around with the spice and herb pots again.  This time it was because I needed to use the contents.  You would not believe how difficult it was to get the contents of Matt and Mandy out of the jars and into my curry.  Don’t try this at home, kids.


[Photo of “Camel caravan in a desert” by m_bartosch: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=681 ]

“Joseph” – Oh, Fickle World!

Camel caravan in desert

The world of a director is a fickle one.  Several weeks pass in a frenzy of chaotic CD listening and prancing around on the kitchen floor (much to the dismay of one pet dog who is determined to take us both off for an evening walk) and then, suddenly, peace reigns again.  Has something gone wrong?  Has the enthusiasm for this crazy project finally waned for good?  No, it is simply preparation paying off.

Act 1 is all on paper (yes, believe it or not, it is true) and most of it has now been sung, staged and danced.  Although we’ll need to work through it a few more times until we reach performance standard it is already starting to be great fun to watch and the cast’s enthusiasm rolls off the front of the stage (well, over the tops of the children’s plastic chairs we are using to mark out the stage area). 

The wonderful ladies of the wardrobe have spent two delightful evenings listening to my excessively enthusiastic monologue on costumes and have now set off to seek out the goods.  The goods so far are looking extremely impressive – can’t wait until we start seeing them come to life on the cast. 

And then, on one bitterly cold night before the snows set in, I met with the delightful creative team behind the set and prop design over a cuppa or two.  After a few strange looks we started to come up with some plans.  Not helped, I have to add, by the keen footballer supporters running in and out of the room at a moment’s notice or by the incessant beeping of our mobile phones.  Ah, but creativity cannot be reigned in by even the most intense distractions and on we marched into the deep world of scenery development. 

It was not long until I realised that I do not have measuring skills.  I had not brought a tape measure and had not worked out the size of the stage versus the size of the scenery I was suggesting.  Nor had I thought through all the practicalities.  I genuinely didn’t think there was anything wrong with considering the possibility of a full-scale revolve in the centre of the stage or a hydraulic lift sequence built into our humble wooden stage.  I mean, who would?  With that grander vision put to one side we started out on the more interesting things like how to develop an over-sized giant Bible or how to give life to skeleton sheep.  And did I mention what colour pyramids we are going for?  It seems dusky pink is not appropriate. 

Of course, this is a kind of calm before: “The Storm: Part 2″.  Act 2 might be in my head but it is not on paper and definitely needs to be.  If we have enough interest in our little Children’s Choir I’m going to need to get moving with the rest of the staging for them.  The programme is calling for my attention and there will be plenty more discussions on costumes, staging, lighting, singing, dancing, etc still to come.  But, I will enjoy every minute while it lasts.  Where is that book I’ve been saving?

[Photo of Camel Caravan in Desert by Digitalart: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2280 ]


“Joseph” – A Feasting Story

Camel caravan in desert

Week 4 of rehearsals.  The passage of time is frightening, isn’t it?  I wonder if that’s how Joseph felt as the weeks, months and years rolled by while he wasted away in prison?  Unlike Joseph we’ve all chosen to be part of this machine known as “Joseph”.  I, for one, have not been wasting away but have instead used rehearsals and prep time as an excuse for tucking into the leftover Christmas chocolates, Friday fry-ups and everything else that is less than good for one’s health.  So far my cunning plan seems to be working and the scales have not bitten back with a nasty reading of weight gain.  All is well.

Joking aside it is vital to keep up energy levels especially when the preparation for rehearsals takes up the other three weekday evenings and at least part of one day at the weekend.  I don’t think I have ever felt quite so schizophrenic as when I am trying to be every character on stage at once.  It is, as you can imagine, quite a draining experience.  Thank goodness that we have some outstanding chefs on the Production Team guaranteeing me a wonderfully tasty and nutritious home-cooked meal every few weeks.  There might also be a glass of wine involved.

Our last Production team meeting revolved around the wonderful creation below, known as an Annlentsagne:

Annlentsagne (by L Taylor)


It is quite simply divine.  A luxurious take on the humble lasagne made with lentils, spices and all sorts of other culinary secrets that could not be divulged even by the chef herself.  Served with a classic green salad, garlic bread and a singular glass of wine it was unbeatable as the cries of “mmm” at the table would attest.  I won’t mention here that someone not too far away got the giggles over the number of times she uttered the “mmm” word or how hard it was to hold it back.  I’m sure you have no idea who I mean.

Not only did we have this wonderful creation but it was followed by a heavenly dessert whose contents I am bound by oath not to reveal.  I can tell you that the centre was packed with home-grown blackberry jam and topped with lashings of…no, not ginger beer (honestly)…of cream.  Beauty itself.

Ann Sponge (by L Taylor)

With so much  energy-producing food around it is hardly any wonder that we have almost finished our initial journey through Act 1.  Of course there is still a long way to go.  Lyrics need to be remembered, harmonies might need just the tiniest bit of recapping and the staging/dancing will need regular refreshing to ensure none of the little details are forgotten.  But I think we can happily celebrate how far we have come in only eight rehearsals and be justly proud of the hard work and dedication going in to putting on an amazing production.

Here’s to all you have achieved so far and all we are going to achieve over the coming weeks.  In the words of good old Cliff: “CON-GRAT-U-LATIONS!”  Must be time for a late-morning donut.

Empty Plate (L Taylor)

[Camel Caravan in Desert photo by Digitalart: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2280 ]

“Joseph” – Goat curry anyone?

Camel caravan in desert (By Digitalart: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2280)

My first visit  to the costume cupboard of 2012 is complete.  What a sneeze-inducing experience it was.  Thankfully the lovely ladies in charge of all things “Wardrobe” had already pulled out the big box stuffed full of old robes and headgear used in the last production some ten years ago so there was no immediate reason for me to climb into the attic space.  However the dust on the box thought it would be highly amusing to attempt to find a new home in my nostrils.  Clearly my nostrils did not agree. 

There were some odd treasures to be found in that box.  I’m sure that someone had once torn down some curtains in a bid to make outfits in a style befitting the Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music.  Lovely brown striped numbers in heavyweight curtain material followed by pastel, sparkly headgear in nylon.  Nothing but the very best quality to be found in our costume cupboard.

Given the show is still three months away, we are only just starting to think about all the different costumes needed for each musical number.  Of course this is a tricky time when we have to balance the budget against my bizarre theatrical vision (or idea, as it is more commonly known).  Needing to separate the Brothers from their wives is quite frankly tricky when everyone is likely to be wearing a skirt of some kind.  Perhaps we’ll just have the Wives showing some leg and the Brothers…not.  Plus we also have to find ways of linking each Brother and Wife.  This is in part to ensure they remember who they actually married as there is already some confusion on this point.  The added benefit is it forces them to dance in the same direction as each other.  One nice brightly coloured ribbon tied around the waists of each couple should do the trick.  It will of course make getting on and off the stage somewhat difficult, especially when the Wives have to leave before the Brothers, but I’m sure we can find a way out of that particular issue.  Perhaps by replacing the ribbon with coloured elastic. 

It was exciting to find the original technicolour coat and to see our new Joseph decked out in all its splendour.  Amazingly it is the right length in arm and leg and only needs a few new panels of colour added to create the glorious parachute effect when the Brothers hold it up for all to see.  The coat has already gone off for its initial repairs. 

The undergarments remain a point of slight contention.  Joseph has to be stripped of his coat and later, thanks to the skillful manoeuvring of Potiphar’s Wife, down to very little at all.  The traditional approach is for Joseph to wear a plain white loincloth but I consider that too simple for our glossy production.  Two options are now under consideration.  A white loincloth with some tastefully placed pieces of white feather-boa as edging or a wonderful pair of gold mini-shorts (not hot pants, I could never be so cruel) complete with white lace edging.  Thoughts welcome on which you would prefer Joseph to be seen in.

Having found the original coat, and tackled Joseph’s underwear (so to speak), we attempted to find the second coat used for the scene when it is ripped into pieces by his jealous Brothers.  Sadly no coat could be found.  Instead, at the bottom of the clothing box, we uncovered two goat legs.

Now, is it me or would you not expect to find the rest of said goat somewhere nearby?  For example, the other two legs, a body, a tail and a head?  We searched box after box and finally came to the conclusion that someone had decided to try out a new recipe for goat curry.  It is meant to be quite a delicacy.  Although I am sure that it works better with actual goat meat and not chunks of cotton-wool covered wood.  Still, it takes all sorts.

We also failed to find the camel.  You would think that a camel would be tricky to miss but apparently they are masters of disguise.  I might send out a search party on our next rehearsal night.  They might even find the remains of the goat.

Originally posted on: http://hugmore.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/joseph-goat-curry-anyone/